Over the past 25 years Principality Stadium has brought the world of sport and music to the centre of Cardiff.

DFP – MPU – Promo – Centre

Who can forget the day Wales first beat the Springboks at a three-quarters built stadium on 26 June 1999 to kick start a new generation of Welsh rugby success. And who will ever forget dancing with the Manic Street Peachers at ‘Manic Millennium’ on the night the nation welcomed in a new millennium.

If it hardly seems like 25 years ago that is probably because the interim years have been filled with so many world class events that new memories overtake the old.

The footprint of the old Cardiff Arms Park has changed dramatically over the years, but it remains the most important piece of real estate in Wales – spiritually, economically, socially, musically and from a sporting perspective.

If you were born in the nineties you would have grown up watching sporting scenes the like of which had never been seen before in Wales – the Rugby World Cup final in 1999, six FA Cup Finals, seven League Cup finals, seven years of Football League Play-Off finals, the Uefa Champions League final, football matches from the 2012 Olympic Games, world title boxing fights, 21 British Speedway Grand Prix, Rugby League World Cup matches, three rugby league Challenge Cup finals, and the first British & Irish Lions ‘home’ international against Argentina in 2005.

You can add in a stages of the Wales Rally GB, Petanque, cricket, Monster Trucks and even WWE’s ‘Clash at the Castle’, which brought in £21m along to Welsh economy two years ago.

“The building of what was then the Millennium Stadium, and is now Principality Stadium in the back end of the nineties was arguably the single most important decision made in the history of the by the WRU,” said WRU chairman, Richard Collier-Keywood.

“There were sacrifices and compromises made, some austerity followed, but since it opened nothing other than good news has flowed from the magnificent home of Welsh rugby. Just ask yourself where the WRU, Cardiff and Wales would be without it?

“It is an iconic sporting and music venue which continues to attract the biggest acts. Already this summer it has hosted concerts from global mega-stars such as Pink and Taylor Swift and last night we hosted the Foo Fighters on stage to thrill yet another full-house.

“We have the EPCR European rugby finals returning next season and the next Euro Finals in 2028 will have matches in the Welsh capital.”

Music is another of the great strands to the stadium’s ability to provide a world class venue for the biggest and best loved acts – U2, Bon Jovi, Tina Turner, Oasis, Robbie Williams and Take That, the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Beyonce and Bruce Springsteen to name but a few.

Principality Stadium is not merely the home of Welsh rugby, it is the beating heart of Wales!
Croeso yn ôl i Gaerdydd – Welcome back to Cardiff!

After years of breaking new ground in Lyon, Bilbao, Newcastle, Bristol, Marseilles and this season the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, the Investec Champions Cup will be ‘coming home’ in 2025 when the final returns to Cardiff for an eighth time.

The 30th final will be played at the spiritual home of the tournament at the heart of the Welsh capital in May, 2025. The first two finals were played at the old National Ground, Cardiff Arms Park in 1996 and 1997, while the Millennium Stadium staged the 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2015 finals.

In 2025, it will be the same venue, but now under a new name – Principality Stadium. The welcome will be as warm as ever, the stage will accommodate the biggest gate since 2012 and atmosphere will be electric.

Cardiff’s city centre located stadium has seen some of the greatest moments in the history of the tournament:
• The inaugural final between Cardiff and Toulouse in 1996 was the first to go to extra-time
• The 2002 clash between Leicester Tigers and Munster attracted the biggest crowd seen at Millennium Stadium of 74,600 – and the biggest in the first 11 years of the competition.
• Munster won the title at the third time of asking at Millennium Stadium in 2006, when they beat Biarritz OIympique 23-19. They returned two years later to beat Toulouse 16-13.
• Leinster staged the greatest fight back in a final to date by overcoming a 14 point interval deficit against Northampton Saints in 2011. From trailing 22-8 they went on to win 33-22, scoring the then most second half points in any final – 25 without reply.
• RC Toulon won the second of their hat-trick of titles in Cardiff in 2014, with Jonny Wilkinson scoring 13 points.
• It was also the venue for the first penalty shoot-out in the history of the tournament, when Leicester Tigers beat Cardiff 7-6 in the 2009 semi-final.

Many of the tournament’s greatest players have lifted the most coveted piece of club rugby silverware in the northern hemisphere. It was Emile Ntamack (Toulouse) in 1996, Alain Penaud (Brive) in 1997, Martin Johnson (Leicester Tigers) in 2002, Anthony Foley (Munster) in 2006, Paul O’Connell (Munster) in 2008, Leo Cullen (Leinster) in 2011 and Jonny Wilkinson (RC Toulon) in 2014.

Could Romain Ntamack make it a family double 30 years on by following in his father’s footsteps and winning the title on Welsh soil with Toulouse next year? Or will it be Bordeaux-Begles’ Damien Penaud’s season to triumph on the biggest of stages to join his father, Alain, as a European champion?

Cardiff has hosted international rugby since 1884 and the now Principality Stadium is built on the site of the venue at which the All Blacks lost their first international match in 1905. It hosted the 1999 World Cup and has been the venue at which Wales have clinched 10 of their 12 Grand Slams.

Can’t wait for your next rugby fix?  Secure your tickets to an awesome Autumn Nations Series 2024 where Wales take on Fiji, Australia and South Africa.  Tickets from £20 for Adults via WRU.WALES/TICKETS